Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cornell Athletics Game Notes for Penn/Princeton Weekend

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Game #26: Penn at Cornell
Tip off: Friday, Feb. 22, at 7 p.m.
Site: Newman Arena (4,473), Ithaca, N.Y.
2012-13 Records: Penn (6-18, 3-4 Ivy); Cornell (13-12, 5-3 Ivy)
Series Record: Penn leads 145-74
Last Meeting: Cornell won 71-69, Feb. 2, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pa.

Game #27: Princeton at Cornell
Tip off: Saturday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m.
Site: Newman Arena (4,473), Ithaca, N.Y.
2012-13 Records: Princeton (12-9, 5-2 Ivy); Cornell (13-12, 5-3 Ivy)
Series Record: Princeton leads 138-79
Last Meeting: Princeton won 76-59, Feb. 1, 2013 in Princeton, N.J.

Radio: HITS 103.3 FM (Barry Leonard, Eric Taylor)
TV: None
Live Stats: links available at
Live Video: links available at
Tickets: check availability by calling (607) 254-BEAR

Cornell head coach Bill Courtney is in his third season at Cornell (35-46, .432; 18-18 Ivy, .500) ... Courtney became the fifth Robert E. Gallagher '44 Coach of Men's Basketball at Cornell on April 23, 2010.

STORY LINES: The Cornell men's basketball team will attempt to keep its hot streak going when perennial Ivy League contenders Penn and Princeton come to Newman Arena. The Big Red will play host to the Quakers on Friday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m., then looks to avenge its only league road loss when the Tigers come to town on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m.

Head coach Bill Courtney's squad brings a 13-12 record into the weekend and has won nine of its last 13 games. Cornell enters the weekend in third place in the Ancient Eight standings and a half game behind Princeton, Saturday's opponent, for second place. Cornell will be looking to match its road success at home — the Big Red is 4-1 in Ivy play away from Newman Arena, but just 1-2 in Ithaca.

The Big Red's offense has been most dangerous when it has gotten itself easy shots from its pressure defense pressure. In Cornell's 13 wins it has scored 76.0 points per game on 48 percent shooting. In its losses - 56.2 points on 38 percent shooting. That has always been the case with Courtney's teams at Cornell. The pressure defense has been a constant - and when the offense is clicking, Cornell is tough to beat. It is 29-4 when scoring 68 or more points under his watch, including 11-1 this season.

Senior Johnathan Gray and sophomore Shonn Miller are Cornell's lone double figure scorers. Miller, the reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Year, leads the Big Red in scoring (10.9 ppg.), rebounding (6.8 rpg.), steals (1.9 spg.) and blocks (2.0 bpg.), while Gray is second in scoring (10.0 ppg.) and leads the team in 3-pointers (50).

Cornell has been tremendously balanced on the offensive end, with nine players averaging between four and 11 points per game. Seniors Errick Peck (8.6 ppg., 4.7 rpg.) and Eitan Chemerinski (6.6 ppg.) aren't far behind, while classmate Josh Figini is averaging 6.5 ppg. in his last seven contests. Also among the balanced scoring group is freshman Nolan Cressler (7.9 ppg.), a two-time Ivy League Rookie of the Week, and sophomore Devin Cherry (6.3 ppg.) in the Big Red's 10-man rotation. Stalwart senior defender Miles Asafo-Adjeileads the team in assists (2.8), while sophomore Galal Cancer has flashed a strong all-court game (5.9 ppg., 2.5 rpg., 2.6 apg.). Junior guard Dominick Scelfo is averaging 7.2 points over his last 11 games to raise his scoring to 4.6 ppg.

• make Cornell 14-12 overall and 6-3 in Ivy play.
• make Cornell 8-4 in 2013.
• give Cornell a 10-4 record in its last 14 games.
• be the 1,210th in program history (1,209-1,320 in 114 seasons).

Penn enters the weekend with a 6-18 overall mark (3-4 Ivy) and is 3-3 in its last six contests after opening the year 3-15. Miles Cartwright leads the way in posting 13.7 ppg. as the lone double figure scorer after Fran Dougherty was injured in the team's first meeting of the season (13.8 ppg., 8.1 rpg.). Freshman Darien Nelson-Henry has become a force inside and averages 7.7 ppg., 3.6 rpg. and 1.0 bpg. Penn is allowing a league-low .421 field goal percentage and foes are hitting just .338 from 3-point range, but the Quakers are last in the circuit in rebounding margin (-3.9 rpg.). Fourth-year head coach Jerome Allen helped direct the Quakers to a second-place Ivy finish a year ago.

• Penn leads 145-74 overall in a series that dates back to the 1903-04 campaign.
• Cornell has had the best of the series recently, winning eight of the last 11 after losing 18
consecutive contests to the Quakers.
• Penn swept the series last year, including a 73-67 win over the Big Red in the Palestra, but Cornell won the first meeting this season 71-69 in Philadelphia.

Princeton enters the weekend a half game ahead of Cornell for second place in the Ivy League standings and has dropped two of its last three games entering Friday's contest at Columbia. Senior Ian Hummer, a league Player of the Year candidate, is averaging 15.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.3 steals and 0.9 blocks per game while shooting 52 percent from the floor. Denton Koon (10.4 ppg.), Will Barrett (9.1 ppg., 4.7 rpg.) and T.J. Bray (9.0 ppg., 3.6 rpg., 3.9 apg.) also play big roles in the Tigers' balanced offense. Princeton has wins over Bucknell, Elon, Kent State and Buffalo on its resume for second-year head coach Mitch Johnson.

• Princeton leads the series 138-79 dating back to the first meeting between the teams in the 1901-02 season.
• Cornell has won 11 of the last 17 meetings between the teams overall, including last season's Ivy-opening win at Newman Arena. The Tigers have won two straight, including a 76-59 decision in New Jersey on Feb. 1.

• Cornell is 107-67 (.615) in the last six seasons.
• The Big Red is 56-22 (.718) in its last 78 Ivy League contests over the last six years.
• Cornell is 60-18 (.769) over its last 78 home games.
• In non-conference games, the Big Red is 50-45 (.526) over the last six seasons vs. scholarship programs.

Dating back to the 2004-05 season (nine years), Cornell's 81-39 record is the best among Ivy League teams in conference action. Penn is second at 78-41, followed by Princeton (67-52) and Harvard (67-53). Rounding out the field is Yale (66-54), Columbia (45-75), Brown (45-75) and Dartmouth (30-90). Going back to the 2006-07 campaign, the Big Red is a full 10 games better than anyone else in the league with its 65-27 mark. Harvard is second (55-37), followed by Penn (53-38), Yale (52-40), Princeton (51-40), Columbia (38-54), Brown (34-58) and Dartmouth (19-73).

• Cornell has surpassed its win total from each of the first two years under head coach Bill Courtney.
• At 5-3, the Big Red needs to go 5-1 in its last six games to reach 10 wins in Ivy play for the fourth time in the last six seasons. Prior to that stretch, Cornell had hit that mark just four times in the program's first 51 seasons in the Ancient Eight.
• In its last 13 contests, Cornell has posted 179 assists with just 160 turnovers.
• The Big Red has a pair of contests this season with 10 or more blocked shots, including 13 in the season opener against Western Michigan. That total ranks second in a single game, while the 10 against Dartmouth is tied for third.
• Cornell's bench has outscored the opposing bench in 23 of the team's 25 games this year. It has more than doubled up the opponent in bench scoring in 16 of those games.
• For the year, the Big Red bench has outscored its opponents 787-392 so far this year (an average of 31.5-15.7), including 35-14 vs. Western Michigan, 47-8 vs. Presbyterian, 46-12 vs. Longwood, 29-2 vs. Vanderbilt, 48-24 vs. Boston University, 32-13 vs. Saint Francis (Pa.), 28-3 vs. Binghamton, 45-19 at Columbia, 27-3 at Princeton, 33-11 vs. Harvard and 29-12 at Brown.
• Only one player is averaging better than 25 minutes per game and no one is playing more than 29 minutes per night. Shonn Miller is playing 28.3 minutes every night.
• In its last 12 wins, Cornell has averaged 77.1 ppg., while shooting 49 percent from the floor (333-of-681).
• Cornell has turned the ball over 19 times or more five times this season, but also has seven games where it has turned the ball over 10 times or less.
• Ten different players have reached double figures in scoring at least once this season.
• Cornell's 3-point season totals in the last five years represent the top five single-season marks in school history. The Big Red's 217 3-pointers a year ago ranks fifth on the chart. Prior to 2007-08, when the run began, Cornell had made more than 200 treys in a season just once.

The Big Red closes out its home schedule when it plays host to Brown (Friday, March 1 at 7 p.m.) and Yale (Saturday, March 2 at 7 p.m.) at Newman Arena as part of Senior Weekend.


Anonymous said...

Predictions for This Weekend:

Cornell 70, Penn 66
Penn 61, Columbia 58

Cornell 64, Princeton 59
Princeton 74, Columbia 48

Yale 66, Harvard 60
Yale 70, Dartmouth 46

Harvard 77, Brown 69
Brown 61, Dartmouth 54

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:01 - I hope your predictions ring true.

And I know Cornell has been inconsistent this year, but what the hell happened to Columbia? Here's a team that beat Villanova on the road but has since taken a nose dive, even falling to Dartmouth at home. Ouch.

Perhaps this is part of Jon Jaques's master plan - to make Cornell look so good that Sears gets a head coaching offer elsewhere, thereby affording him the opportunity to assume the role of Courtney's third assistant next season. Stranger things have happened...